Brady talked about the defensive line at the point of attack and stopping the running game. What things will you hone in on this week, because Indiana obviously runs it pretty well, too?
“State did a good job of bringing in an extra tackle, having two tight ends, and really in general they put a lot of beef out there. What happened is some of our kids didn’t hold the point like they wanted to and from that point on they ended up coming out onto our linebackers and it all has an effect [on[ down. We weren’t happy with how we played the run. We felt like that was something we’ve done most of they year and we had to do it this game. All that being said, you see how close you are because you’re right in it. We’re starting on the fifty yard line or starting wherever or doing whatever and you’re right in it until you give up the big play. And that’s bit us this year. That happened, and that’s me because I’m going to try any way I can to put your thumb in that hole, and whenever you do that there’s a chance of something happening and that happened here. Corner blitz and it was covered, it was covered, it was covered and then it wasn’t covered.
“The one that upset me more than anything was the goal line run down there in the first half. They came out- it was a good job by them. They came out in tempo. They hadn’t shown any tempo. I was looking to make a call and all of a sudden I look up and they’re on the line of scrimmage and that’s me, that’s not them. I felt really bad about that because our kids, they don’t deserve that. They work so hard. They really were into this game and they really wanted to show supposedly what kind of defense they are and not that.”
Brady was asked about what was left to accomplish this year just given the way things are and what’s left, maybe a bowl. When you talk to your guys about what’s left what are those [things you] focus [on]?
“Become as good as they can be. Go out every day and do what we started the season out to do, and that was one of the things we talked about watching the tape. We’re going to coach as hard or harder than we have all year and expect them to play as hard as they have and I still expect good things will happen for them and there’ll be no let down. That’s not the way our kids are, and it’s definitely not the way we are or I am and I have all the confidence in the world that our kids are going to come out and play their butts off because that’s who they are. We’ve got to go one game at a time.
“This next one is going to be, defensively, a real challenge. You’re going against a great running back. You saw what they did last year. They put some points up so this is the next one. This is a big test for our kids because you get all this not having success like you’ve worked to have and can you bounce back? Can you bounce back? And I believe they will. I really believe that this group will.”
[After THE JUMP: It’s a Joe Bolden/Jake Ryan/Delano Hill hype party and you’re all invited]
I asked Brady the same questions. First question: just being a coach, Joe [Bolden]…the intent wasn’t bad intent. What’s your feelings on Joe showing that emotion before the game? Second question: I brought this up with David Cobb and Jeremy Langford, both big play guys that have gashed you. What’s the focus on [with] Tevin Coleman and Shane Wynn this week?
“Well, Langford and Lippett, they’re very good football players and Lippett got the one big play on us, I believe, and Langford did a nice job running and that’s a real credit to their offensive line. Every team we’ve played against forever, it’s been about not giving up big plays and that’s happened more this year probably than it has in the last couple years. I don’t know if it has or not but it appears that way because every play that you give up is like, ‘Oh my god.’ We’ll do everything we can this week. E-ver-y-thing. We’ll coach like we always do to make sure you cup the football, make sure you don’t give up big plays, make sure you tackle, and that’s no different than what we do every week, and this guy [Coleman] happens to have some great runs. This guy- I was watching tape last night and I’ll tell you, when he breaks it he breaks it. This guy’s a great running back, but we’ve faced great running backs a lot so that’ll be big. What other question did you have?”
Regarding Joe’s emotions, you want to see that, right?
“I love Joe Bolden. Are you kidding me? Joe Bolden. Pfft. Man, I tell you what, now give me a room of him. Give me a room of Joe Boldens. I’ll tell you, give me 11 of them. Just line them up, put them at any position you want and I’m going to tell you what, there’s going to be a lot of happy people, and me being the happiest so don’t go there. Joe Bolden. Are you kidding me?”
I wasn’t criticizing.
“No, I know you’re not. I’m just saying when you say ‘Joe Bolden’ to me, now you got a guy- that’s a football player. That’s a guy who’s a leader, who gives everything he can give. And you know what? We’ve got a bunch of them like that too, which is really neat. But I know your question. That’s great. Thank you.”
Jake Ryan was maybe the one guy who had the best game for you on Saturday. After you grade the film- I know you don’t rate them one through eleven, but talk about rating his performance in this game compared to the rest of the season and also the fact that he’s a semifinalist for the Butkus award.
“Well, Jake would be the first to tell you if you asked him [that] he didn’t feel like he played his best football game. That being said, that just tells everyone again you are only as good as you are up front. I know he came off a couple times and he said, ‘Coach, there’s some guys in my face that usually aren’t there,’ and I go, ‘Yeah, that’s playing football,’ and it was one of the first times that’s happened to him. He’s worked extremely hard on his punch, on delivering a blow and all that kind of thing but it really shows that when you play well like Joe and Jake have had the ability to do this year our front has done some really good things to protect them, and all of a sudden this time they did a good job of getting off on them. And he made a lot of tackles, but I think if you asked Jake he’d say, ‘I’ve played better than that.’
In terms of his season with the Butkus [nomination].
“Jake- he made the move [to MIKE]. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do, worked extra, is into the gameplan, is into technique, is into the keys, is into everything. Whatever he gets, he deserves and then some. If you’re a Michigan man or woman you want Jake Ryan standing right next to you because he’s a Michigan man all the way.”
With the losses and all the speculation about Brady and some of the things that have gone on around the program this may seem a little corny, but how do you think Brady is handling all this this season?
“Brady is a tough, hard-nosed, great football coach and you guys, you don’t see it. You can’t. I see it every day. Our players see it every single day and you know what? It’s really easy to be a head football coach when everything is going perfect and everything is going well. You really tell what kind of person a guy is and what kind of a football coach- and I’m going to tell you, football coaches in today’s society, the way it is now, football coaches…it’s harder than it’s ever been. And your head football coach? To me he gets five stars the way he’s handling this and what he does every single day when he comes in. If you have a son and you want that son to be a football player and to graduate and be a man then you hope that he has a chance to play for Brady Hoke. That’s all I can say.”
At what point as a defensive back is playing a receiver 1-on-1 are they taught to turn and take a look for the ball?
“Yeah, that’s a great question. I’ll tell you what, Delano, he’d been out for three weeks. He went in and played his butt off. Got a fumble recovery. He played hard [and] was into it totally. And when you bring a corner fire like we did, then you’re 1-on-1 with that guy with no help and you expect pressure to get there so the ball has to come out fast. That’s what you’re doing it for. They max protected, so it was like [in] the chess game at that time they said, ‘Hey, I think maybe he’s going to bring a corner fire’ and they won that one. But Delano was step-for-step doing a great job with him, and being young…in a year from now he would have pushed that guy out of bounds right there and the guy would’ve never even had a chance to catch the ball, and instead the time clock in a defender’s head goes, ‘I’m running, I’m running, I’m running, I wonder what’s happening’ and he looked back and that was a perfect throw and that was an underthrown ball and the guy caught it.”
But even in general, are they taught to…
“No, you’re really taught more to key the man you’re on, and when his hands come up now that’s when you’re doing it and that’s why, I mean, he was with him for so long. Delano, he’s had kind of the injury bug but whenever he goes in there, boy, I’ll tell you, I think he’s going to be a heck of a football player.”